If everything is free, you don’t need to struggle with your relationship with money, and I don’t need to struggle with mine.
As with the social changes that were necessary to end the African slave trade, a transformation of modern capitalism requires that we step outside of ourselves and examine our own roles within the system objectively. It’s easy to see capitalism as a system external to ourselves, but it’s much harder to acknowledge the stories we carry inside of ourselves that create and reinforce the values that sustain it.
From my perspective, whether we are in hospice or merely transitioning to a new story or both, these questions constitute our overarching assignment in the time we have left, and they form the crux of my work in the wake of our predicament. The pivotal task, I believe is an invitation offered on Page 66: “Imagine yourself on your deathbed, looking back on your life. What moments seem the most precious? What choices will you be the most grateful for?” This is hard-core hospice work.
In some sense it is much easier to be kind to other species because they are the innocent ones. They have not left the planet in shambles. It is much more challenging to be kind to humans—the perpetrators, the plunderers we may despise but which some part of us has the capacity to become. The human species is far more connected than it is divided. I speak not in platitudes but rather in terms of the hard science of quantum physics, and I heartily recommend Paul Levy’s recent article “Quantum Physics: The Physics Of Dreaming, Part 1.” John Archibald Wheeler, theoretical physicist and colleague of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr stated that, “Nothing is more important about quantum physics than this: it has destroyed the concept of the world as ‘sitting out there’.” In fact, there is no “you” and “me.” Yes, you have a body separate from mine, and you live in another place on the planet, but we are interdependently connected.
Michael C. Ruppert, author, former Los Angeles Police Department narcotics investigator turned investigative journalist specializing in Peak Oil and Collapse, says, “Until we change the way money works, nothing changes.” The way we use money is part of a dying system that no longer serves mankind. It creates scarcity, fear, and separation and the system as it has existed for over 5,000 years creates a world of “haves” and “have nots,” that allows the accumulation of wealth into fewer and fewer hands, leaving more and more people on the planet struggling for survival. But it’s not just the extreme wealthy that are at fault…It’s us, too, because we bought into the separation mode hook, line, and sinker!
For me there are three enormous obstacles to exiting empire, all of which are related to the internal dynamics of empire programming, and they are so profound that, on one level, radically altering one’s living arrangements may be the least daunting facet of making the break.